Top 10 Favourites
1. WILLIAM RICKETTS SANCTUARY – 13 1963
William Ricketts lived and worked at Mt Dandenong from 1934 until 1993. His life’s artistic work was transformed by his years of contact with the desert people of the Pitjantjara and Arrernte whose indigenous culture inspired the major creative output. He lived at the Sanctuary until his peaceful death in 1993 aged 94. His lifetime of concern and care for the environment, expressed in his energetic creation of this place.
2. PUFFING BILLY – 03 9757 0700
A historic steam train which travels from Belgrave to Gembrook (120 minute trip) and return. You can ride in open carriages all or part of the journey depending on the time allocated. The lunch and dinner trains, which are both licensed, provide Devonshire tea or full gourmet lunch and dinner in enclosed first class carriages from Belgrave to Emerald Lake Park (75 minute trip). A delightful way to spend a few hours. Checkout the web site for more information.Time to set aside: lunch train 3.5 hours, dinner train 4.75 hours. Shorter normal train rides without the meals are available.
3. SKYHIGH – 03 9751 0443
At Skyhigh Mount Dandenong, the view across Melbourne, Mornington Peninsula and Port Philip Bay to the You Yangs is one not to be missed. Whether during the day where you can also enjoy the garden maze, acclaimed English garden, barbecues and picnic grounds, a contemporary cafe/family bistro and the resident Kookaburras.
Guests staying at The Loft in the Mill, who would like to dine at Skyhigh Bistro for dinner, can enjoy the complimentary Stretch Limousine transfers to and from Skyhigh Monday to Friday nights.
Open 7 days a week Mon – Fri 10.00am, Sat/Sun at 8.00am
4. TREES ADVENTURE – 0410 735288
Trees Adventure is an unforgettable obstacle course and series of flying foxes in the sublime surrounds of Glen Harrow Gardens. Participants adventure from tree to tree, taking on thrilling mid-air challenges up to 12 metres high in a magic forest featuring Victoria’s only two Japanese Oaks and under the canopy of one of the largest Algerian Oaks in the world. Gaze at Californian Redwoods, Tasmanian Ash and the Douglas Fir. Possums and kookaburras abound. The forest features some of Australia’s rarest and most remarkable trees, while the obstacle courses running through range from easy to thrilling. Call or email to book.Location: Glenharrow Historic Gardens, Old Monbulk Road, Belgrave.
5. OLINDA TEA HOUSE – 03 9751 0556
Set against a tranquil bushland backdrop with a beautifully landscaped garden is a new addition to the mountains tea experience. Olinda Tea House provides delicious meals, Devonshire teas and assorted deserts.
Open Daily 9.00am – 4.00pm except Wednesday
6. CLOUDEHILL GARDENS – 03 9751 1009
Cloudhill is made from a former ‘flower farm’ from 1920s for growing flowers and cut foliage to supply Melbourne florists. Today it is a spectacular garden consisting of 25 garden rooms where it showcases a variety of themes. Every season the garden produces a unique array of colour. This garden is a must see.
7. 1000 STEPS KOKODA – 03 9999 9999
A walk from Upper Fern Tree Gully to Ferny Creek – 1000 steps up. It was set up by National Parks and is maintained by rangers. People who fought on the Kokoda Track developed a series of 14 memorial plaques in a bushland location. For those who choose to stop and remember, it is a beautifully tranquil place and it is in no way intended to imitate the real trail.
8. CUCKOO RESTAURANT – 03 9751 1003
The Cuckoo is open nearly every day of the year, and provides an abundance of food with a delicious smorgasbord prepared by first class international chiefs. Offering live entertainment and their”famous” floor show including slap dance and yodelling, enjoy the charm of the Bavarian Chalet.
9. WILD OAK COOKING SCHOOL – 03 9751 2033
Executive Chef and Owner, Ben Higgs runs the Wild Oak Cooking School which is purpose designed to maximise the use of a central workspace that allows a ‘hands on’ experience rather than a ‘demonstration’ kitchen. Having a small capacity of 8-10, students can enjoy a much higher level of contact with professional chef instructors.With different class types and subjects to suit all levels and interests you’ll easily be able to find one that is perfect for you.Enjoy a complimentary glass of wine as you learn and take home handy class notes so you can recreate these great dishes at home. 1 kilometre from Loft In The Mill.
10. NATIONAL RHODODENDRON GARDENS – 13 1963
The National Rhododendron Gardens is a unique setting for cool climate plants with breathtaking views over the Yarra Valley. Seasonal changes ensure these Gardens are an all-year-round delight.In spring, enjoy the 40 hectare walk amongst the daffodils, camellias, azaleas, rhododendrons and magnolias, with the Cherry Grove in full flower mid-spring.In summer, walk the nature trail in the cool rainforest atmosphere and enjoy the brilliant blue and white hydrangeas in full flower. In autumn the views by the lake are spectacular as many of the hydrangeas and deciduous trees are reflected in the cool calm waters. In winter, the mists create an aura of mystery amongst the Mountain Ash with bare tree trunks and branches reflected in the mountain lake while hellebore and cyclamen flowers carpet the ground. The National Rhododendron Garden is located 500 metres from the Olinda township (Melways Ref 66 K6). Closed on Christmas Day and days of Total Fire Ban. Entry charges apply.Location: Georgian Rd, Olinda